Opening its doors in 1824 at Bull Street, Birmingham, Cadbury’s history is a fascinating study of industrial and social development; it shows how a small family business can be developed into an international giant. The Cadbury family was a prominent member of the Society of Friends or Quakers. Quakers held strong beliefs and ideals that they carried into campaigns for justice, equality and social reform, putting an end to poverty and deprivation. As nonconformists, Quakers were not permitted to enter the universities, which in the nineteenth century were closely linked with the Church. Entry into the professions was impossible and pacifist principles precluded the military as a career. The energies and talents of Quaker families were, therefore, directed towards business, social reform and the transformation of social and industrial society in Victorian Britain. John Cadbury’s involvement with the Temperance Society had an influence on the direction of his business enterprise. By providing tea, coffee, cocoa and chocolate as an alternative to alcohol, which was believed to be one of the causes of poverty and deprivation amongst working people, he felt that he was helping to alleviate some of the misery. In 1831, he rented a small factory in Birmingham and became a manufacturer of drinking chocolate and cocoa, the real foundation of the Cadbury manufacturing business. Today, Cadbury is the clear leader in the UK chocolate market with over 50 brands and 350 packaging variations that fulfil every need and occasion. Cadbury began its Indian operations as a trading concern in 1947. With brands like Cadbury Dairy Milk, Gems, 5 Star and Perk –and now additionally with products like Celebrations, Bytes and Temptations Cadbury India Ltd. (CIL) today, has become a market leader in the confectionary segment and have a 70 percent market share in chocolates. Cadbury's Dairy Milk (CDM) is its flagship brand, having a market share of 30% and average daily sales of 1 million bars.
India has a ginormous sweet tooth. It has the world’s second largest population and the world’s largest under-thirties population. The country is also spawning one of the world’s fastest-growing middle-class spenders with surplus incomes. It should, therefore, be a huge natural consumer destination for chocolates. But market destinies are often guided by ironies. In this case, chocolates are not as simple to sell as the statistics might imply. This is because the domestically-made sweets and confectionery – mithai – market is so huge, so dispersed, so full of variety and so inextricably intertwined with Indian religious, festive and social rituals and occasions, that trying to mass-market chocolates – a foreign food – would equal the task of selling the proverbial refrigerator to the Eskimo. That Cadbury has entered this forbidding market, has stayed in the chocolate business in India and has dominated it, is a testament to the company’s tenacity, resilience and ingenuity. Compared to the West, per capita chocolate consumption in India is extremely low. While Britain, for instance, consumes eight kilograms per head per year, India consumes just under 100 grams per capita. There are other obstacles as well. Mithais are easily available and usually cooked fresh at every street corner in towns and villages. Chocolates are generally seen as indulgence products. While the comparative per capita chocolate consumption in India may be pretty abysmal, Cadbury’s performance in this market, however, merits reams of ink and paper. And the credit for this undoubtedly goes to their ability in recognising the shortcomings in their campaign strategies and turning Cadbury into a cult brand! CADBURY DAIRY MILK_ THE INDIAN CHAPTER
CDM advertising has always depicted a rich tapestry of human emotions and relationships. In the 1980s, it was positioned as the perfect expression of love captured in the memorable copy ‘Sometimes Cadbury can say it better than...